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Dana Design Arja

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

Dana Design is no longer in business, and the Arja has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2021.

photo: Dana Design Arja three-season tent


Price Historic Range: $199.93
Reviewers Paid: $199.99-$300.00


3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Four stars, not five, only because of a few minor things. To start with the drawbacks, it is heavy for a backpacking tent, and small for a car camping tent (I do both). It's not easy to set up alone, because the poles appear to be too long for the fabric - once the tent's been up for a while, though, the fabric stretches just enough to get the poles in the grommets.

On the plus side, it's got nice colors. The yellow is a great color to wake up to and really cheery on an overcast day. It's very roomy for a backpacking tent - you could conceivably get three small people into it, or two adults and a child or dog. The front vestibule is wonderful - you can leave your dirty hiking boots outside but sheltered. It's big enough to hold a Coleman catalytic heater for those chilly mornings when you hate to crawl out of the sleeping bag. It's easy to seal, even for someone who's never done it before (that would be me). Ample sealing goop and patches are supplied - I've patched the floor, the fly, and the netting successfully (I'm hard on tents). Ventilation is incredible. It's easy to get into and out of without disturbing your tent mate, and the front and rear openings really do come in handy when you want the rainfly off but ready to pull up.

I got this tent on sale in 1998 (?) when it was on clearance due to the imminent release of the model with the plastic window in the rainfly. It was a good investment.

Design: three season dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: See above - taut!
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Price Paid: ~$250 (on sale)

Okay here is the skinny...this is a great tent and I bought mine on clearance from REI. Lots of guy points to secure it in the wind. Neat colors. Very well ventilated. Compacts down pretty small. Plenty of room for the tall guys. Neato chess/checkerboard printed on the floor.

The downside... all sleeves and no clips, middle pole is a bit tricky to set up.

Design: three season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: moderately easy
Weight: 6+ pounds
Price Paid: $199.99

This is one great tent!

PROS: very stable even in the strongest winds, great ventilation, durable, waterproof (but sealed mine anyway), window in the fly, very large floorspace for only 2 people (plenty room for 2 and my Rottweiler), the 2ns small vestubule at the head of the tent is great for keeping something within reach (and you don't even have to get out of your sleeping bag).

CONS: Expensive, and the middle pole is a bit difficult to setup.

Design: 3-season freestanding w/ stakeable fly
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: somewhat tricky
Weight: 7.5lb
Price Paid: $300

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